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Rocky Lang The History Of Tennis Balls

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  • jeffreycounts
    started a topic Rocky Lang The History Of Tennis Balls

    Rocky Lang The History Of Tennis Balls

    Let's get your thoughts on Rocky Lang's article, "The History Of Tennis Balls"

  • don_budge
    replied
    I love the smell of new balls in the morning...it smells like victory.

    Leave a comment:


  • don_budge
    replied
    In the 1905 Sears and Roebuck catalogue a can of tennis balls cost one dollar and fifty cents. Of all of the items in that catalogue, tennis balls are the least affected by inflation. When I was in the States fifteen years ago you could buy a can of three balls, Wilson or Penn, at KMart for two dollars or very close to that amount.

    Today I cracked open a couple of four ball cans of Technifibre (the best ball in Europe) and told the two young men I was working with about how when I was fourteen and just beginning to play in Dearborn, Michigan back in 1968 or so I would open the can and take a whiff. What a great smell...new balls. Playing with a can of new balls was quite a treat for me back then. We had to make things last. You would have this can of Wilson and there was a "key" on the bottom of the can. You used the key to peel away a strip around the can. I will never forget the sound of the pressure being released in the can.

    As I got older...and had a little more money we started to play with a couple of cans for a practice session. They were so cheap. I love new balls. Still do.

    I bought the Technifibre balls for around 35 Swedish kronor which is just under four U. S. dollars.

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  • klacr
    replied
    I had a lot of fun reading this. Who knew something that all of us coaches have hundreds of had such a unique history. I can just imagine crushing a forehand on a tennis ball filled with wool.
    Tennis is such an incredible game and stories like this one that go into detail about just one of the many specific elements of the game make me appreciate the sport so much more. We've come a long way!

    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton
    Last edited by klacr; 12-05-2018, 07:40 AM.

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  • scottmurphy
    replied
    What a great article by Rocky Lang on the history of the tennis ball. Hard to imagine playing with the concoction that was the original ball. We're definitely spoiled here in the US when it comes to balls. The price of a can of balls is quite reasonable and there's a large selection to chose from. When I was running my tennis academy in Italy the first thing I noticed was the terrible condition of the balls players were using. The reason turned out to be that because they're so expensive they just use them over and over again. In some of the tournaments there they would actually use one can of balls per court for every match that day! At $12.00/can it's understandable. My favorite ball, the Slazenger, is no longer available in the US so aside from the stockpile I acquired I always pick some up in London every summer during Wimbledon. Another favorite of mine, the Dunlop Forte, has been discontinued in favor of a ball that will be made specifically for the Australian Open. I remember a time when I thought one ball was like the next but over time I gravitated toward balls that were hi-vis, durable and arm friendly.

    Leave a comment:

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